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Windows 7: Removing Vista from Dual Boot but retaining progs on Vista partition


22 Dec 2013   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 
Removing Vista from Dual Boot but retaining progs on Vista partition

With the help of this forum and the Partition Wizard I have successfully installed Windows 7 64 bit on a separate partition (H) on my hard drive and I now have a dual boot system. The other partition (C:OS) runs Vista 32 bit OS.

The problem I have is that all my programs, files and settings are on the Vista partition. So I would like to remove Vista and merge the two partitions so that Windows 7 has access to my existing data and programs.

I have read a number of threads re merging, etc but I can't find one that specifically refers to my issue.

Thanks for your help.



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My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 Dec 2013   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

Hi Paul, welcome to the Seven Forums.

Your issue is a typical upgrade issue, Internet in general and our forums in particular are full of advice in how to do it. As there's no way you can transfer your installed programs to your new Windows 7 installation, you have exactly two options.

Option 1, finish what you have already started:
  • Copy your personal files from Vista partition to respective folders on Seven partition. You can do it manually or for instance using Windows Easy Transfer. Notice that your installed programs will not work on Seven even if you copy them and their folders to Seven
  • Delete the Vista partition
  • Use the free space (old Vista partition) to increase the size of the Seven partition
  • Re-install all your programs

Option 2, start from beginning:
  • Do an in-place upgrade install, installing Seven on top of your Vista instead of clean install to another partition as you have done now. This option keeps all your installed programs and files exactly where there are now, no need to re-install them

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Dec 2013   #3

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 

hi Kari, and thank you for responding so quickly.

I was afraid that was the answer I'd get! If I reinstall the programs will they think they're being installed on a different PC and therefore outside the licence terms (eg MS Office, Accountancy Software)?

Also, will my settings (eg browser settings) be transferred with the files or will I lose them too?

Thank you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 Dec 2013   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

There's usually no issues in installing your licensed software to a new computer if the license terms do not specifically say you can only use it on a specific computer. For instance Office can be installed to a new computer as long as the number of copies of Office does not exceed that of your license; if you have a single user / single install license, you can uninstall it on an old computer and install on a new one.

All browsers have possibility to export bookmarks and favorites and then import them to a new install.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Dec 2013   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bits 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

I was afraid that was the answer I'd get! If I reinstall the programs will they think they're being installed on a different PC and therefore outside the licence terms (eg MS Office, Accountancy Software)?
=>Yes. But that's not a problem. You don't use the other program at the same time. Maybe the Accountancy Software won't work anymore (very uncommon). You can always mail the developer and let him generate a new license key.

Setting won't be transfered. But Windows Easy Transfer - Microsoft Windows can do a lot
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Dec 2013   #6

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 

Thanks Guys.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Dec 2013   #7
Microsoft MVP

 

If the new install of Windows 7 is booting as H then it was incorrectly installed from Vista and not by booting the installer, so that it will boot as C as it always does when installed correctly from boot. So if you want a clean install I would start over and delete all partitions during the booted install as shown in Clean Install Windows 7, Steps 7 and 8.

If this is the original Dell preinstall I would run the Dell Hardware Diagnostics from F12 Menu first to test your hardware, and if it runs then leave the small Dell OEM partition at the front of the HD during reinstall.

People reinstall their OS's all the time and have no problems reactivating their software. You're always allowed to do this as long as you have the Product Key. You can audit the installed Product Keys using Belarc Advisor. There are other tips here to get and keep a perfect Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7

If you want to avoid reinstalling your programs then take Kari's suggestion and follow A simple guide to a successful in-place upgrade - Windows 7 Forums.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Dec 2013   #8

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 

Thank you for your help Greg. I'll check it out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Removing Vista from Dual Boot but retaining progs on Vista partition




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